Inspired By: Stylish Thoughts…

Inspired By: Stylish Thoughts…

I’ve been thinking about style a lot of lately, possibly because I have been shopping excessively and going out at just as much – requiring the styling of many new ensembles for many different events, locations and situations. When I studied fashion two years ago I was lucky enough to truly discover exactly what it is exactly that beguiles me about fashion. Beyond the delight I find in dressing and dressing up, what I am so curious about and so deeply intrigued by is simple…it’s style. STYLE! That simple one syllable word that has such a weighty significance in terms of self expression. We all know the famous fashion quote ‘Fashion fades, style is eternal…’ But do we truly know how to define it? We know it when we see it -‘That’s stylish, she’s stylish, he’s got style etc.’

We all generally tend to have a universal understanding of who and what is stylish, hence why the world covets and henceforth creates style icons. And style icons vary from classic and sharp Victoria Beckham, to masters of the glam rock chic Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, preened to perfection and always neat Olivia Palermo  or forever casual and cool in a leather jacket, skinny jeans and boots combo Kate Moss.

But asides from using the word to identify a form of dressing, Classic, Casual, Trendy, Sporty etc, what constitutes as style and how can we identify what it looks like?

I like to define style as fashion’s cousin, her much cooler cousin and a trend is fashion’s sister, possibly even twin sister. Without going too deeply into semiology and linguistics, fashion is the object – the signified and the trend is formed by the signifiers, in this case the consumers (us), who with our consumption of said object  eventually make the object fashionable or/ and trendy.

Style, I refer to as fashion’s cooler cousin because it’s more expressive and offers more of a personal communication. If we could all afford to wear runway looks straight off the catwalk of the season’s most coveted look, regardless of how fashionable and on trend it might be, we’d all look like clones, or the alternative terminology, fashion victims. Style is not the possession of, or the monetary strength to, own and dress in fashionable items.  Style is the dance between conforming and rejecting, between being predictable, ironic and unexpected.

We can all wear a runway look and be fashionable, but  we’d have no credit to take for our ability to dress, because the look has already been packaged and parceled by another stylist. In fact, the only thing we might express dressed head to toe in a runway look is our undying love for fashion and our ability to keep up with its capricious nature. Ask Anna Dello Russo, Fashion Editor and Creative Director at Vogue Japan, who’ll tell you ‘I don’t want to be cool, I want to be fashion’. I have never seen a woman wear so many runway looks, in fact so fashionable is the passionate fashionista that she has been described by Helmut Newton as a ‘Fashion maniac’.  Anna might be considered ironically cool, like wearing nineties patterned  Moschino in the twenty first century or a black woman wearing a t-shirt that reads ‘Blondes have more fun,’ but too much irony or too much of one thing is never good.

So, back to this dance of conforming and rejecting. Style is a personal interpretation of the signified object – the fashion item, it’s the way in which we  choose to hangout with fashion’s sister, the signifiers, the masses that form the trends and its how we choose to reject it, by refusing to wear it, altering it or manipulate it. A white shirt might be fashionable, neatly buttoned down and tucked into a pair of jeans, we conform to the trend by wearing the white shirt, but we reject it by tucking only the front of the shirt into our jeans and leaving the back out, wearing the first three buttons undone or placing a statement necklace around the collar and so on and so forth.

In my humble opinion, ‘styling’ is the way in which we manipulate fashion. The most stylish of people in my belief are those that always have their eye on fashion but have the ability to manipulate, to innovate, to be unexpected but respectable, ironic and predictable and know exactly when to conform and when to reject.  Style is formed once we develop a particular method towards the way in which we approach dress, over a period of time this will form a motif which eventually becomes our own unique style.

Here’s to some of my personal style icons at the moment…

Carrie Bradshaw Sex and the City
Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City movie wearing pink cut out dress and black studded belt.
Carrie Bradshaw
Carrie Bradshaw – Sex and the City
Victoria Beckham wearing DVB Jeans
Victoria Beckham wearing DVB Jeans
Victoria Beckham
Victoria Beckham dressed in grey
Rihanna dressed in pink and orange
Rihanna dressed in pink and orange
Olivia Palermo in pink
Olivia Palermo wearing pink lace at the Valentino Couture at Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild
Olivia Palermo in black and navy blue
Olivia Palermo in black leather peplum top and navy blue shorts with pointed wedges
Kourtney Kardashian casual in flats
Kourtney Kardashian casual in flats
Kourtney Kardashian
Kourtney Kardashian dressed in blue patterned dress
Kim Kardashian wearing black and grey
Kim Kardashian wearing staple skinny jeans, heels and waterfall jacket. Dressed in black and grey.
Kim Kardashian dressed in leggings and longline blazer
Kim Kardashian dressed in leggings and longline blazer with statement necklace
Kourtney Kardashian dressed casually in flats
Kourtney Kardashian dressed casually in flats and brown hat

Be charmed, stay inspired! x

Oh to be in Fashion…An Ode to the Sheer Black Black Dress

…and just sheer black…

Admittedly, those of us that not only follow fashion, but enjoy documenting it by fashioning our bodies with adornment that demonstrates our understanding and ability to keep up with the trends, take a self indulgent pleasure when something, someone or some item confirms our fashion savvy-ness. Admit it! We love it! Moments have occurred pretty frequently for me of recently.

Naturally I am going to down play my self praise and my excitement for such moments, because that’s the tasteful thing to do. But I was particularly excited when I saw that the peplum was making a huge comeback this season…before I had even been aware of such a trend I had purchased myself a wonderful black peplum pencil skirt from Zara, in fact I wore it to my Christmas party.

I take pleasure in watching Zoey Deschanel singing and prancing around like a crazy person in the opening sequence of New Girl in a red skater dress that looks as though it is also from Zara and if so, is also another dress that I happen to own. Granted, I was inspired to purchase this dress when I saw Frankie from the Saturday’s sporting it. Unfortunately I can now no longer wear the dress. It seems the whole world and his wife also clocked on to how fabulous and easy to wear that dress was and also went and purchased it (indeed, the irony of fashion).

I was also particularly excited when I saw both Holly, Fearne and Christina Ricci dressed in black sheer dresses with red lips on the Jonathon Ross show recently. God bless the black sheer dress and red lipstick! Black on black on black to me is a playground of sexual obscurity! Now you see me now you don’t! Can you really see what you think you can see? Black velvet embellishments on black lace combined with solid black, a black sheer shirt with a black bra tucked into a black waxed lace skirt. A sheer black body suit with sheer long sleeves and a black net insert to the navel worn with a black long sheer skirt over a solid black mini….I needn’t go on.

So here’s to my favourite trend of a/w, that has set me back a significant number GBPs, but has allowed me to be so in fashion this winter…The Sheer Black Dress…so dolce vita, so Dolce and Gabbanna of Stella McCartney and just so Dolce and Gabbanna. Never underestimate the black dress, just overlay it with sensuous and sultry fabrics – if you have to!

Rihanna’s a Rock Star now???

Rihanna’s a Rock Star now???